Britain First registers as a political party
Their leader said he was 'ecstatic' at the news
Far-right group Britain First has been allowed to register as a political party by the Electoral Commission.
The party had lost its status in 2017 after failing to renew its registration in time and has since had its application to return as a political party turned down on eight occasions.
Despite leader Paul Golding holding convictions for a terror offence and hate crimes, on Monday (September 28) the commission said that the party's application "met the legal criteria."
Golding said he was "ecstatic" and would start "building the electoral arm of our party."
The Independent reports that in an email to its followers, Britain First said: "This is a stupendous victory for the Britain First movement.
"Although our street activities will continue, this day marks the birth of Britain First as a traditional political party that will take the fight to the establishment through the ballot box."
The Electoral Commission does not consider a party's political views when deciding whether or not to register them, instead requiring the group to show that they comply with legal obligations and that their proposed names, descriptions and emblems do not risk misleading or confusing voters.
Groups also need to show that their constitutions or membership policies do not breach equalities law.
Britain First is a far-right group which campaigns on an extreme anti-immigration message, calling for a halt to all further immigration except in a handful of specific cases.
It did have a strong online following, gathering more than two million likes on Facebook, before its pages were removed from the platform.
But when Golding ran as a candidate in the London mayoral election in 2016, he picked up just 1.2 per cent of the vote.
Ffs. Is this true? pic.twitter.com/plWP3XI877
— Carole Cadwalladr (@carolecadwalla) September 27, 2021
In 2019, the party was fined £44,200 by the Electoral Commission for "multiple breaches" of electoral law, including a failure to provide proper financial records or donation reports.
The news that Britain First is now a registered political party once again came just hours after Golding and his former deputy Jayda Fransen were found guilty of religiously aggravated harassment.
The duo agreed to pay "substantial damages" to settle a libel case after they falsely claimed the Halal Food Authority and two employees were involved in funding terrorism in February 2017.
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